decision on the `du' control files
[I CC: this to debian-devel and to the debhelper maintainer.]
The last days, there was an `endless' discussion on debian-policy about
the use of `du' control files. Though, the discussion has not yet ended, I
think we have a consensus on the statement below. (If not, consider this
as executive decision :)
Comments are still welcome, but please cut down the list of `CC:'s (i.e.,
just reply to debian-policy).
No package may provide the `du' control file, since these are
useless and just waste disk space. There is currently no application
that makes use of these files.
Note, that these files _might_ become useful in the future if a package
manager (say deity) wants to calculate the required disk space of a
package before starting the actual installation process. However,
allowing packages to include these files now without having an exact
definition of the file format will just limit our freedom when we start
discussing the design of such a package manager's feature.
We alread had a similar case in the past with `md5sums' files. These files
have not been discussed in the public but have been designed and
implemented by a single developer. Since a lot of packages currently
provide these files, it will be hard to change them in the future (though,
this might become necessary some day). (Just for completeness: for now,
the inclusion of the `md5sums' file will silently be accepted.)
In summary, I'll activate the Lintian check for `du' files again. Lintian
will issue an error message if this control file is discovered.
Since Lintian will also report any other `unknown' control files as error,
we'll hopefully never get this situation again (where new control files
are implemented by single developers without a public discussion and
Joey, please deactive the `dh_du' script of the debhelper package. (You
may want to make this script fail with an error message that explains the
reasons instead of removing the script completely. This way, people will
have less work to fix their packages. Otherwise, people might implement
the generation of du files themselves, and afterwards receive a bug report
by Lintian :)
-- _,, Christian Schwarz
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